Six years ago I started to suffer from bad anxiety and sometimes even panic attacks. The reason why is a long story but my parents decided to home school me.
A lot of people don’t understand what I have, and I guess I can’t blame them – I doubt I would either if I hadn’t suffered myself. For those who don’t it is at times one of the craziest feelings you can imagine, as though the worst thing in the world is about to happen but you don’t know what that is, and nothing ever happens anyway! I don’t believe that what I have is necessarily a bad thing and though it can be awful, I wouldn’t erase it from my past. It has made me who I am.
My angel came in the form of a little white horse. Sirus is the most beautiful creature I have ever laid eyes on and the only time I can almost completely forget about my anxiety is when I am with him. He’s just 14hh and no one knows what breed he is.
Such a lot has happened to get us where we are today. Sirus has gone from him being a nervous ‘problem pony’ when I first got him to letting me help him overcome his fears.
To put it simply, he is the same as me. He seems to suffer just as I have. The types of things that stress him out are similar to myself and although it may seem strange, it is the only way to explain the understanding that we have. While I knew how I should face my problems, I lacked the courage to actually do it. Instead, I did all I could to help Sirus with his problems and now, a year later, he is helping me in the exact same way.
One thing that really helps me is teaching him. Sirus can do all sorts of tricks, like bowing, walking to and waiting at a spot in the field I marked out for him, rearing up with and without me riding him and one that he actually taught himself, is taking my cowboy hat off my head with his mouth!
We are members of www.horsesonscreen.com which promotes the teaching of tricks and stunt riding for media and film work – Sirus and I appeared on the news last summer!
He is also an incredible jumper, clearing over 4’3″ with me so far.
We’ve been cross country, won jumping classes, and he’s surprisingly good at gymkhana! And best of all, I can ride him with no tack whatsoever. I can’t begin to describe how free you feel when you canter across a field with nothing but trust.
Last year was our best yet, we achieved so much together, but this year things have been tough.
My grandad passed away recently, he truly was the bravest man I have, and will ever meet. Living eight years with cancer yet always trying to carry on as before, never once complaining. My nan had been amazing to care for him throughout, especially in his final weeks. Because Sirus is kept at their house, a beautiful thatched cottage up on a sunny hilltop, I saw my nan and grandad every single day, so losing him was definitely more than losing just a grandparent.
But I remember him saying how proud he was the day Sirus and I first got involved in our tricks and were on the TV. So that will keep us going because no matter how much I miss him, he will be watching every time we are up in that field performing.